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Ride the Wings of Morning: Letters to and from Africa Paperback – Import, 22 Jun 2012
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About the Author
Once a television director, later a horseback safari guide and wildlife artist based in Southern Africa, Sophie Neville is now back in the UK working on true life stories and fundraising for Christian charities. She is an executive producer with Witness Films Ltd. http: //sophieneville.net/
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Boosting her book are the letters written between her and her family in England. Sophie writes to them in great detail about the animals she sees (sometimes a bit closer than she cares to!) and the daily activities of the ranch, plus her eventual travel to a variety of spots around South Africa & neighboring countries. Her tales are often humorous, and her drawings add to this captivating book. As long as it is, I had a hard time setting it down, and carried my Kindle everywhere for a couple of days while I read almost constantly!
I recommend Ride the Wings of Morning for anyone who is an armchair traveler, for anyone who suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and for anyone who likes to get to know the characters in a book as if you have met them in person! This a wonderful writing :-)
Sophie writes of her adventures in Africa. After a busy life in television, and recovering from debilitating illness in England, she determines on a radical change and moves from a chilly, damp British winter to the blistering heat of Southern Africa. And there she can no longer be an invalid. She plunges into the hectic life of horseback safari camps, driving trucks through rivers and desert, cooking, handling horses, killing snakes, organising the tourists and supervising the always characterful local labour. With her we meet fascinating, heart-breaking, funny, and sometimes infuriating characters. And the animals: thrilling, or entertaining encounters with elephants, aardvarks, crocodiles, antelopes, lions, leopards, hyenas, hippopotamus and rhinoceros, and a panoply of other exciting wildlife.
But the core of this wonderfully entertaining book is Sophie's correspondence with her wonderful family; Granny, Mummy and Dad, her three sisters and a bevy of children, friends, and other relations who create a web of hilarious anecdotes. Anecdotes and other adventures in love, life, dogs, cats, rabbits, donkeys, otters, and babies.
Sophie is as delicious an artist as she is a writer. The book is packed with wonderful sketches and watercolours that make these stories spring to life. A minor criticism would be that the exigencies of Kindle eBook publishing results in all the illustrations being very small. Happily I soon discovered that a little finger work can zoom to larger images, and every single one is worth expanding.
Such a light-hearted story is also pervaded by a keen awareness of reality. The struggles of a African post-Apartheid society, the deadly spread of Aids, the chaos after civil war, the problems of life for a British army wife . . . and just bringing up all those kids. These stories contain all the contradictions of life itself, but are told with such heart-warming honesty, humour and humanity.
I must admit to a personal interest in Sophie. In 1973 I produced the feature film of Arthur Ransome's SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS. One of my childhood stars was a delightful twelve-year-old Sophie. This book suggests that she grew up to be a most special woman.
A delightful book. Strongly recommended to bring a real ray of sunshine into your life.